On 4th March, the Gas to the West development was launched in Enniskillen by Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, Arlene Foster.
The £250m development, which will be built and managed by Mutual Energy and Scotia Gas Networks (SGN), will extend the natural gas network to connect 40,000 homes and businesses. It will supply a number of towns across the west of Northern Ireland, such as Enniskillen, Strabane, Dungannon, Coalisland, Omagh, Cookstown, Derrylin and Magherafelt via two projects.
RPS has been appointed to provide planning, environmental and engineering services on the high pressure pipeline project to supply Enniskillen, Dungannon, Coalisland, Omagh, Cookstown, Derrylin and Magherafelt. An expert, multi-disciplinary team from our Belfast, Letterkenny, Dublin, Cork and Galway offices, has already begun work on this key infrastructure project. This project will involve construction of approximately 200km of pipeline extending from Portadown and linking the towns to the existing NI gas network with construction expected to start in early 2017 and first gas by the end of 2017.
The route is predominantly rural but crosses the A4 trunk road and the A4, A5 and A29 major routes. There are numerous river crossings, including the River Blackwater and Lough Erne.
Speaking at the launch, Northern Ireland Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster said “The Northern Ireland Executive is investing up to £32.5m to bring gas to homes and businesses in the west of Northern Ireland, and the award of licences by the Utility Regulator to Mutual Energy and Scotia Gas Networks is another key milestone in the process.”
RPS is also providing environmental and planning service for the sister project to provide gas to Strabane by late 2016 via a 35km pipeline from Maydown. These two projects will bring greater energy choice for consumers in these towns and increase the potential for homes and businesses to use a cleaner, more efficient fuel.